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Module 1


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Sharing of meaningful
information between 2
or more people.
Three elements of

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Transmits the message
Information regarding ideas, facts, feelings, experiences
Encoded to suit the medium chosen
Vehicle that carries information
Chosen based on proximity of the receiver, social context,
size of audience, level of urgency etc
Intended recipient of the message
It interprets the message
Decoding is influenced by awareness level, compatibility,
emotional state, prejudices

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Activity 1.1
Chinese Whisper
The green rabbits ate chips on the ship while the
penguins rowed to the shore.
The chef chopped some red chillies for Charlie
from Chicago

Same message ?
Why do you think this happened?

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Activity 1.2
The Caveman Game

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Effective Communication
Communication becomes
effective only when
whatever was sent across
is received & understood
completely and in the
same sense as was
originally meant.
Effective communication
is equally about
articulation & listening.

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Need for effective communication
In a social context:
1. Maintaining social order
2. Interaction among members of community as
well as between communities.
3. Ensuring the continuance of culture.
4. Ensuring the flow of knowledge from generation
to generation.
5. Sharing & spreading of knowledge
6. Sharing of love & concern to foster family &
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In a workplace context:
1. Facilitating the flow of information up & down
the chain of command.
2. Ensuring clarity regarding specifications,
procedures, proposals, standards, orders etc
3. Avoiding reinventing the wheel due to lack of
proper & effective documentation.
4. Understanding customer needs & responding
5. Maintaining organizational harmony.

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Levels of Communication
1. Intrapersonal
happens within oneself (self
When a person trying to
Make a decision by reflection
Analyse a situation
Make oneself comfortable
with a situation
2. Interpersonal
One-to-one conversation
between two people.
Planned or unplanned
The effectiveness depends on
the understanding between
the parties and the proper
articulation of the message
Eg: b/w manager &
employee, b/w friends
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3. Group Communication:
3+ people discussion
Formal or informal based on
context & scenario associated
Eg: a team discussion to
identify a solution.
4. Public Communication:
Sender broadcasting a
message to a selected
Eg: speech, lecture etc.
5. Mass Communication:
Transmission messages to a
larger audience through print
or visual media
Eg: blogs, tv, radio,
No personal connect

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Flow of Communication
In a broad sense:
One way communication
Two way communication
One to one
One to many
Many to one
In an organizational context:
Upward communication
Downward communication
Horizontal communication

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One way communication :
Messages are broadcasted
from one end only
No role for other person to
Eg: monologues given by an
instructor/ teacher, news
Two way communication :
Communication between 2 or
more parties
There will be a constant flow of
information back & forth
between the sender & the
More enhanced message
Further classified as:
One to one
One to many
Many to one

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One to one:
One sender & one receiver
Message flow happens
between these two parties
One to many:
One sender broadcasting
messages to multiple
recipients & call forth
feedback from multiple
Eg: a professor is anchoring
the session & students
reciprocating with questions
or answers.
May to one:
Senders broadcasting the
message to one recipient.
Eg: an interview process with
one interviewee and a panel
of interviewers
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Upward communication:
Communication from a
lower level to higher level.
They can take the form of
emails, face-to-face, letters
to suggestion boxes etc.
Usually involve
Suggestion for
improvement of feedback
Grievances and complaints
Reporting of hitches/
Performance reports

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Downward communication:
Communication flows from
higher level to lower level.
They can take the form of an
order, email, memo, phone
call, face-to-face etc.
Usually involves
Instructions to subordinates
Assignment of goals &
Plans or change of plans
Circular regarding policies &
Problems that need to be
Priorities to be followed

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Communication among
people at the same level of
the organization.
This can take the form of
emails, phone calls, notes,
face-to-face etc.
This helps in saving time &
coordinating better.
Usually involves
Giving or taking tips
Seeking or giving
Rendering help or advice
Data required for
coordination activities

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Use of language in communication
Language is a system of human
communication involving the use of
meaningful words in a structured manner
understandable to a certain population.
Language expresses

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Appropriate language is
selected based on:
The nature of the
content, whether it is
simple or complex
The necessary
background or context
The awareness level of
the recipient
The readiness level of
the recipient
The purpose of the

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To make your language
KISS Keep It Short &
Use concrete & specific
language whenever possible
Use words that the receiver
can easily relate to
The message should be
precise & clear
Try to infuse positivity into
your language
Maintain appropriate level of

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Communication Networks
Represent the pattern of
interaction between the
different members of an
The network is determined by
Number of persons involved
Nature of the organization
Flow of communication
Type of information exchanged
Popular networks:
Vertical network
Circuit network
Chain network
Wheel network
Star network

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Vertical network:
Two way communication
between superior &
Highly formal
Feedback obtained
Circuit network:
Messages & feedback
are sent back & forth
between two people.
Not necessarily superior
& subordinate

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Chain network:
Downward flow of
communication along
chain of command
Commands or instruction
are relayed to subordinates
Wheel network:
Highly centralized all
receive command from
single superior
Immediate feedback
Star network:
All members communicate
with each other
Ideal for team

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Significance of Technical Communication
Technical communication
is conveying of scientific,
engineering or other
technical information
using appropriate
It is significant by virtue
of being
Clear & matter of fact
Able to employ technical
terms to target those who
Evoke reasoning & logical
thinking rather than
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One of the most important
purposes of technical
communication is to
facilitate clear
communication among
In the development of a
product, engineers
specializing in various
aspects need to collaborate.
Inter departmental and
intra departmental
communication is critical.
Eg: a standard engineering
drawing that shows
elevation, plan, side view
and section view leaves no
room for ambiguity.
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Eg: Service manual &
training material provided
to service engineers.
Eg: The user manuals given
to customers.
The language and content
of these documents will be
These documents provide
step-by-step instruction for
trouble shooting.
They also help in promoting
safe, easy, correct and full
use of the product.

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Types of Barriers to Communication
Physical Barriers
Personal physical barrier
Barriers from the
Personal barriers
Inability to speak and hear
Hatred towards the subject
and the speaker.
Barriers from the
Environmental discomfort
Insufficiently insulated
rooms etc.

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Semantic Barriers
misunderstanding or
confusion with regard to
the meaning of the
This arises due to wrong
interpretation of words,
phrases, signs, symbols

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Psychological &
emotional barriers
This is related to the
mental stage of an
individual. If a person is
disturbed or distracted,
it prevents the sender or
receiver from giving
attention to the
This is termed as
psychological barrier.

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Cultural Barriers
Todays workplace
demands communication
& collaboration among
employees hailing from
different places & cultures.
Language, body language,
mannerisms, etc can create
confusion in cross cultural

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Gender Barriers
Gender diverse
Women tend to focus
more on people &
They are intuitive
Men tend to focus on
facts, figures & logic

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It is the failure to
communicate adequately
It can be due to
Failure in getting the message
Lack of clarity
Sloppy language habits like
using slang, jargon, acronyms,
buzzwords, allusions etc.
Trying to convey a lot
information in a short span of
High noise level
Language incompatibility
Messy thinking

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It is a hindrance in the
process of
It can be
Ambient noise such as
wind, people talking, noise
of machinery
Noise in signals that
Related to thoughts,
emotions etc

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Overcoming measures
Detect the source and bring down or eliminate the noise
Close doors/ windows
Reduce fan speed
Switch off machinery that makes noise
Switch off mobile phones & electronic devices that are likely to
Raise volume
Speaker may raise his volume
Raise volume of microphone
Use clear and understandable language
Use commonly used words
Listen actively
Repeat key words

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Why Listen?
Appreciate & enjoy
Empathize with the
feelings of the speaker
Understand what is being
Get specific information
Evaluate the content
Listening involves active
engagement of mind &
heart rather than mere
reception of audio

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Listening as an Active Skill
The art of listening is a
skill that can be learnt.
Listening involves a set of
Avoid talking & lend your
Be there
Be open
Listen for ideas & not just
Look out for non-verbal

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Types of Listeners
Based on the response
of the listener
Detached listener
Inattentive, bored or
Minimal eye contact
Passive listener
Doesnt try to understand
Fakes attention

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Involved listener
Some eye contact
Listens to the speaker
Active listener
Complete attention
Alert posture & direct eye

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Listening for General Content
It is like having a bird s eye
Need not to have all minute
details pertaining to what is
being communicated
The focus should be on
content words
Keep in mind the general
Eg: Though it was dark, the
plane flew over the
mountain at night

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Intensive Listening
It involves listening for details as
well as appreciating the language
form of messages.
Intensive listening is about
Paying attention to specific or all
details rather than the big picture.
Listening to exact words or phrases
Listening to underlying
grammatical structures
Paying attention to speakers
intonation, pace & pauses
Concentrating so that segments of
text can be reproduced
Able to answer specific questions

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Listening for specific information
This is a situation when one often
knows in advance how the
message is going to be delivered
and that the required information
will be couched in the message
among other details.
You should be clear about what
you are listening for
Be alert on key words
Eg: The percentage of students.
If you are looking for ideas, try to
detect phrases like One way to
solve this is to.
Ask questions

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Listening to fill up Information
A very useful exercise to
sharpen the listening
Since we already know
what to listen for, we
will learn how to keep
our alertness level high

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Barriers in Effective Listening Skills
Preconceived notions
regarding the subject or the
speaker close our mind from
what is being said.
The inability to hear and
interpret the message
correctly, lack of interest, lack
of awareness level
Constant interrupts hamper
the flow of speech.
They distract the speaker

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Mental noise
The listener may be
preoccupied with own
Mind will be roaming
When the listener is
charged with emotions like
anger or fear, his senses
will not function at the
optimum level.
Excessive talking
Too much talking without
giving others any chance to

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Limited span of
Get distracted easily
Self centred tendencies
always redirect the focus
of conversation to

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Technical Writing
Technical writing Literary writing
Style of writing to convey Creative writing with aesthetic
scientific & technical appeal to entertain & educate
information using appropriate Target audience: general
technical vocabulary public
Target audience: academics & It can be flowing, lyrical &
experts in the field containing figures of speech as
Approach is direct as the the intention is to arouse
intention is to inform emotions
Logical reasoning & Imaginations & humanism
deductions Metaphors, allegory, rhyme
Facts & figures, graphs, charts etc.
etc Can be informal and personal
Strictly formal

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Elements of Style in Technical Writing
Style in Structure
Clear flow of logic & information is essential
The organization of the piece must be evident & intuitive.
Document itself should have a coherent structure.
A paragraph ideally should have
Opening sentence
Concrete points
Concluding sentence
In an individual sentence
Focus must be on the main clause
Main point should be placed near the beginning of the sentence
Eg: students give feedback to college about canteen authorities decide to
expand it
The college authorities decide to expand the canteen after getting the
students feedback

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Style in Presentation
The presentation & tone must focus on the end
results and the supporting logic rather than
chronology or the element of surprise.
Tone should be neutral & factual

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Style in Language
Should be formal
Should never be coloured by the writers
Writing should be in the third person & pronouns
like you, I & we should be avoided.
Active voice should be used wherever possible.
Past & present tense can be used but the tense
used must be consistent.

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